Bacon-flavored broccoli isn't a madman's fantasy anymore. It's America's ticket to reasserting herself as one of the world's top scientific super powers while at the same time allowing her to make a quantum leap out of a crippling recession. In order to climb back into the saddle Americans needs to tap back into what has united them over the centuries in a singular purpose. A sense of collective ideology has enabled Americans to undertake and accomplish things so that are both exceptional and revolutionary.
Yet America's ingenuity is a double edged sword. It's both a blessing and a curse. A question lingers as to how America's shared ideological ethos has evolved. From its inception as an Eden and refuge for people who found themselves marginalized and unwelcome elsewhere, America has come to harness and tame those differences within a climate of “hyphen” American culture. When asked what it means to be American or what overarching ideology binds Americans together, a laundry list of demographically subjective opinions spring up. Alex Tocqueville figured it out more than a century and a half ago.
Tocqueville was a French political philosopher and a De facto historian who traveled throughout America during the 1830's. He was from an aristocratic French family and a dyed-in-the-wool European Romanticist. He set the tone for future exploration in social sciences with his seminal work known as “Democracy in America”. Essentially Tocqueville asserts that a collective subconscious pioneering spirit is at the core of what unites Americans ideologically. He draws attention to the concept of “The Frontier”.
Americans at the time Tocqueville visited had been on a steady march towards the west for roughly six decades. These pioneering folks shared a kindred spirit, he deduced. A deep-rooted ingenuity to conquer new and unfamiliar territory is what defined the American esprit de corps. The ability and independent fervor to try unconventional ideas and trends in order to pacify unfamiliar territories lends itself to a loosely knit ideological cohesion. However, if the ideological trends stay fluid they are subject to eminent change which is ever looming on the horizon. It stands to reason then that if these trends are in perpetual state of change then an inevitable loss of a uniting tradition will be the outcome.
This tendency towards experimentation can bring about alienation. For instance, when a shared problem arises there can be no meeting of the minds. Individuality and personal ingenuity take over in lieu of collective societal traditions. However, melding trends into traditions and forcing them to be elastic in their pragmatism is a highly beneficial thing. Abandoning a staunchly rigid approach of choosing either trend or tradition needs to be promoted. Altering trends to fit into tradition might pull America out of its divisive moral and economical funk.
Modified trends could be as lucrative as they are nutritionally beneficial. One multifaceted trend modification could be genetically altering veggies to taste like savory snacks or deep fried foods and would certainly be a sure fire hit. Or why not create a sweet tasting veggie like Brussel sprouts harvested in either dark or milk chocolate flavors? We have manipulated every other type of fruit and veggie.
Even taking a relatively conservative slant we have can say that we have tweaked evolution enough to create super cows. Maybe it's time to take a page out of the vegan/vegetarian manifesto which produces and consumes a whole butcher's shop full of soy and fungal meat substitutes which taste nearly identical to genuine meats. Like salty tofu-bacon or faux turkey for those thanksgiving day feasts. Lo sodium, low carbs gluten free and the list goes on and on.
The toxic love affair, I can't reiterate enough, of the Western world with traditional agriculture is robbing our collective ingenuity. Why can't the governing bodies of countries overproducing pork and beef and dairy products as well as maize and wheat and other grains turn the tables on farming subsidies? It's a “no-brainer” list of benefits.
Not only would scientific research be stimulated but the excitement of discovery and the prospects of cold hard cash would come trickling down to the high school level straight through to universities which could receive grants for the burgeoning SMET (Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Technology) education.
That scientific ethos would carry over into the private sector where companies could capitalize on the modified trend. Most notably the pharmaceutical industries which are assuredly going to benefit financially. The short term investment of racking up patent after patent would be a boon for all industries who choose to get involved in this pioneering research. Environmentally it's also a sound ethical and moral step forward.
The arable land now devoted to raising ruminant livestock such as sheep, goats and buffalo but more importantly cows, can make a desperately needed transition away from those monstrously large tracks of grazing land they now occupy. Those beguiling bovines consume vast amounts of grasses which we affectionately call roughage.
Cows are a decidedly flatulent creature due in part to the amount of roughage they consume. That flatulence brings with it the expulsion of methane gas. Methane is one of those dastardly greenhouse gasses. The best horror stories don't come from the fantastic creations oozing out the minds of writers. No, they are the factual stories which are tucked away on page 4 of the morning paper or gleaned from verbose and dull governmental studies.
Luckily, the United States Environmental Protection Agency doesn't balk at the chance to simultaneously educate and bore. One such study by the EPA paints a lugubrious picture of the impact of flatulent cattle; “Globally, ruminant livestock produce about 80 million metric tons of methane annually, accounting for about 28% of global methane emissions from human-related activities. An adult cow may be a very small source by itself, emitting only 80-110 kgs (176-220 lbs) of methane, but with about 100 million cattle in the U.S. and 1.2 billion large ruminants in the world, ruminants are one of the largest methane sources. In the U.S., cattle emit about 5.5 million metric tons of methane per year into the atmosphere, accounting for 20% of U.S. methane emissions.” Just imagine if we could reduce the amount of cow flatulence by one half what a inadvertent global health benefit it would be.
Encouraging scientific research through bestowing government grants to universities and tax incentives to agribusiness, in order to develop, produce and harvest savory crops of pork chop flavored beets and caramel flavored okra, might just be the first notes in the swan song of global warming, rampant malnutrition and scientific doldrums.
Of course, those are ideologically lofty goals but on a more pragmatic and attainable level the economic boon would be tremendous. The intricate web of symbiotic cooperation would be enough to heave America out of this stagnate recession.
Americans joining together for a common purpose has proven that they tend to galvanize their shared culturally innate ethos culminating in trend-setting, state-of-the-art solutions. The penultimate benefit comes through stimulating Americans to unitedly think outside the box when it comes to tradition.